Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

as there hath been much impropriety in the manner of treating these cases by electricity, it will be necessary to be very particular in describing the regular mode of treatment. For many years after the discovery of electricity, or after the art of giving an electric shock upon the human body was rendered practicable, and attempts were begun to be made to restore diseases by the shock, it was one universal error to electrify too very strongly; the consequence was, that some diseases, the palsy in particular, would be considerably restored; but by continuing the shocks too strongly, there would be, first a cessation of betterment, and sometimes a total relapse into their former state; but this last circumstance must have been owing to another mistake, which was as universal and as detrimental as the former, viz. a total neglect of a steady warmth, which should have been constantly observed. But Dr. Cavallo, a gentleman of the Roy Society in London, in his treatise upon medical electricity, hath, with much accuracy, detected the error of strong shocks; and his writings have gone not a little way in recommending to mankind a more candid attention to the subject of medical electricity.

A partial palsy hardly ever fails of a speedy cure, by giving thirty or forty light shocks in the course of each day: several such cases I have restored in fifteen, twenty or thirty days. It is more difficult to restore the loss of motion, than that of sensation: the loss of sensation is restored very generally in a few days; about one shock in a hundred, should be so strong as to be perceptible to the patient, the whole distance of the paralytic part. If the tongue is defective, let a cork or piece of soft wood be held between the patient's teeth, and let one wire be held to the back of the teeth, aly the other wire to the end of the tongue, then you are ready to pass the shocks: (the cork will prevent the patients biting their tongues when the shock is given) you may give fifteen light shocks on the tongue, in one day; and by the way, the tongue is sooner restored than any other part, as I have often experienced.

When the palsy is total, there will be much patience required to effect a cure; the shortest term cannot be less than three months, and frequently twice that time will be spent in effecting a complete cure; this, however, is a calculation made from observing the degrees of betterment acquired during the several periods in which I have attended upon such cases; two of them only exceeded one month that I continued the shock, and one of these two cases was totally cured in the course of a summer; but the other was only partially restored, in the course of three months, or nearly that time: but what I mean to notice, is this, that the longer the electrification was continued, the greater the degree of betterment; but cases

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1 Title page
2 Preface
13 Animal and Vegetable Electricity
15 Chapter 1 - Electric fire promotes the vegetable life, etc.
70 Chapter 2 - Of the Conductors
   97 Chapter 3 - Fever  [Medical Conditions]
108 Peripneumony 171 Cholic 210 Involuntary motion
      of the eyelids
111 Pleurisy 174 Asthma 210 Hemmorage
114 St. Anthony's Fire 176 Diabetes 217 Hemorroids
115 Inflammatory Rheumatism 178 Urine suppressed,
  bloody and hot
217 Ulcers and Abcesses
115 Inflammatory Sore Throat 182 Menses obstructed 220 Rickets
122 Madness 185 King's Evil 221 Locked Jaw or Joints
131 Ague 186 Cancers 224 Bruises
138 St. Vitus's Dance 194 Quincy 229 Nerves contracted
140 Hysterics 195 Head-ache 230 Sprain or Strain
144 Epilepsy 196 Deafness 231 Felon or Whitlow
149 Consumption 197 Inflammatory Eyes 231 Pains in different parts
153 Palsy 197 Film 232 Wounds, etc.
158 Dropsy 199 Gutta Serena 234 Drowning
164 Gout 207 Cataract 237 Suppressed Perspiration
166 Dysentery 209 Fistula Lachrymalis 237 Burns and Scalds
242 Chapter 4  [Equipment]
277 Thoughts on the Times
Electricity, or Ethereal Fire, Considered is presented here for historical purposes only, and should not be interpreted as medical advice.


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